Vizio Co-Star player marries Google TV, OnLive cloud gaming

Addition of on-demand gaming and a low price gives you a reason to care about Google TV.


First teased at CES 2012, Vizio's Google TV plans are now moving forward with the launch of the Co-Star Stream Player.

While we're still waiting for Google TV to fulfill its promise, the Co-Star makes the most of the platform's current capabilities by combining live TV and streaming services. Along with wired and wireless Internet connections for Web surfing using Google Chrome with Adobe Flash Player and HTML 5 support, apps, and streaming video and music services, the player can be connected to a cable or satellite TV box.

As an added bonus for both casual and regular gamers, support forOnLive's cloud gaming service is available, too. Though it was initially only supposed to support viewing games, it now appears that you'll be able to demo, watch, and play OnLive's large game library with the Co-Star.

The Co-Star is priced at $99.99 direct from Vizio, which is extremely competitive especially in light of Sony's recent Google TV entry, the $199.99 NSZ-GS7. An OnLive microconsole is the same price as the Co-Star, however that includes a controller; the Co-Star, though compatible with OnLive's wireless controller and several third-party controllers, will only include its universal Bluetooth remote.

The remote does look nice, though, with a touch pad, full QWERTY keyboard with gaming buttons, and direct launch buttons for Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and M-Go (but oddly no OnLive button).

Connections include two HDMI ports (one in, one out), Ethernet, and a USB port for hard drives, keyboards, or other peripherals. There's 802.11n wireless built-in, too.

Pre-orders start in July 2012 on Vizio's site and include free shipping while supplies last.

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